Eight of the 12 fraternities at AU are in warning status for hosting parties and transporting freshmen during Welcome Week.
The fraternities failed to meet Student Activities Minimum Chapter Standards of Fraternities and Sororities: “Chapters are not permitted to invite new students to parties/events during New Orientation and Welcome Week.”
“This seems unusual, but it’s really not,” Coordinator of Fraternity and Sorority Life Curtis Burrill said.
The remaining four fraternities did not receive a warning from greek life.
Five of the eight fraternities who received a warning were reported to Student Conduct, Burrill said.
He declined to name the eight fraternities that received a warning status.
A warning status is issued when an AU chapter of a fraternity violates any part of the Minimum Chapter Standards.
No consequences for warning status
There are no immediate consequences for the eight fraternities unless another violation occurs, such as a disruptive party during Rush Week.
Interfraternity Council Chair Thomas Marro said AU fraternities receive warning status every year.
“Frats do this [break this rule] every year during Welcome Week,” Thomas Marro said. “And it’s been even more so in past years.”
After warning status, greek life organizations receive harsher sanctions:
• Probation — The chapter cannot participate in any activities for a period of time.
• Suspension — AU will not recognize the chapter as a fraternity for a certain amount of time.
• Expulsion — The chapter of that fraternity is permanently removed from AU.
Greek life asked to stop parties
Burrill said he instructed fraternities not to host parties or transport new students during Orientation and Welcome Week, but most did anyway.
“They think its tradition,” he said.
Marro said there were fewer Welcome Week parties this year.
“There used to be so many,” he said. “But we tried to cut down because Curtis told us not to.”
Greek life is in the process of reforming fraternities and sororities to focus more on national values and leadership, but it’s going to take time, Burrill said.
“You’re not going to change a culture in a year,” he said.
IFC Vice President Carter Gibson said these changes are relatively new.
“IFC has actually been enforcing regulations in the past two years,” Gibson said. “Fraternities are being punished and held to a higher standard.”
Reforming greek life
Burrill said greek life is trying to expose new students to greek life outside of parties.
“We had 120 greeks help with move-in,” he said. “That’s the positive interactions with new students we want to see.”
Marro said the Interfraternity Council supports Burrill’s efforts to revamp greek life.
“Obviously I support Curtis’ efforts because it’s good for our image,” Marro said. “It brings us closer to our values nationally.”
These reforms will allow greek life organizations to show their true colors.
“There’s always room for improvement,” Marro said. “We just want them [fraternities and sororities] living up to who they say they are.”